Harvard students protest Bush advisor’s ‘biased’ econ class

By Jonathan Terbush
Thursday, November 3, 2011 11:21 EDT
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Harvard students who participated in a walk-out of economics professor Greg Mankiw’s class on Wednesday issued an open letter accusing Mankiw of pushing a biased view of economics that perpetuates inequality.

“As Harvard undergraduates, we enrolled in Economics 10 hoping to gain a broad and introductory foundation of economic theory,” the students wrote. “Instead, we found a course that espouses a specific—and limited—view of economics that we believe perpetuates problematic and inefficient systems of economic inequality in our society today.”

The students also wrote that because Harvard routinely churns out future world leaders in government and business, the school had to be especially cautious to provide students with a fair, solid education.

“Harvard graduates play major roles in the financial institutions and in shaping public policy around the world,” they wrote. “If Harvard fails to equip its students with a broad and critical understanding of economics, their actions are likely to harm the global financial system.”

Mankiw served as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors under George W. Bush, and he’s now advising Mitt Romney’s presidential campapign. Given his affiliation with conservative economic ideology, students targeted him as a symbol of the inequity protesters nationwide have been railing against.

According to the Harvard Crimson, about 70 students walked out of the class, which has about 700 enrollees.

Read the entire open letter here.

Jonathan Terbush
Jonathan Terbush
Jon Terbush is a Boston-based writer whose work has appeared in Talking Points Memo, Business Insider, the New Haven Register, and elsewhere. He tweets about politics, cats, and baseball via @jonterbush.
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